Travelling Australia
Wayne & Pam BENTLEY

Friday 29th February 2008 to Sunday 2nd March 2008

Friday 29th Friday 2008

Well after working on the caravan and the Patrol for a while to service and make minor repairs, lots of 'shopping' by 'One of Us' and packing up over the past couple of days, it was time to 'Hit the Road' again, although this is only a little trip compared to our past journeys around Australia.

We managed to drive out of our driveway by about 08:50am and with the caravan in tow we headed off down the hill onto Roe Highway and then turned North to Great Northern Highway and up through the Swan Valley.

Onward until we turned left onto Brand Highway and the kilometres started to roll back behind us as we passed by Gingin, over the Moore River, and about 30 km passed the roadhouses at Cataby before we turned left onto Bibby Road which leads us in past Cervantes turn off and up to the Jurien road. From here it was a simple little drive in to Jurien before the last 27 kilometres up Indian Ocean Drive to our days destination at Greenhead, where we settled in at the local caravan park for the next four night.

After settling in we were back in the Patrol for a drive around the bays, including Point Louise, Doorway Island, Little Anchorage and the North bay before returning to the caravan for most of the rest of the afternoon.

Our journey to Greenhead was planned to coincide with Daughter Kym and Son-in-law Lee's long weekend with friends in a rented house overlooking the South Bay, obviously just to the South of the Greenhead town site.

The boys, Lee and Paul wasted no time in getting the fishing rods out and heading off around the bay in Paul's 4WD for a bit of recreation, but there were no big fish brought back to supplement the dinner menu, although there was the mandatory story of the 'One that got away'

Kym, in her usual style, was extremely organised and was providing the dinners over the next three nights so our first night we visited their accommodation where we enjoyed a great meal of lasagne, salad and garlic bread rolls.... 'One of Us' (Pammy) certainly made the most of the meal while we all enjoyed the company.

We were back at the caravan by around 10:pm and took a well earned rest for the night.

Dynamite Bay - Greenhead
Looking across Dynamite Bay - Greenhead

Doorway Island - Greenhead
Doorway Island - Greenhead

Saturday 1st March 2008

After a relatively slow start to the day, it was time for the boys (Lee and Paul) to try out their recently purchased 4WD's, so it was organised that we would take a tour of the limestone plains inland from Greenhead, with a visit to some of the local spots that the 'Other One' (the author, or Pammy's other half) knew so well as a very young fellow.

With a UHF radio in each vehicle we set off from Greenhead at about 10:am and made our way North toward Leeman before turning off Indian Ocean Drive onto a sand track that followed some power lines into the bush and over some salt lakes before reaching the limestone plain that was a real obstacle when trekking out to the 'coast' back in the 1950's.

A few short kilometres on we turned off the power line track which was quite solid gravel and we were into the sand and climbing over and around limestone formations on the track. After a few kilometres on this track, during which time we were observed by, and observed in return, some kangaroos and other fauna, we pulled in to a little oasis that we call Little Three Springs, which is a grove of taller trees that contain two or three fresh water springs where the water flows out of the ground. At this point, Paul and Heather and Lee took the initiation and drank from the spring, maybe it will give them eternal youth....

From here we made our way over the last of the limestone track and out to a made gravel road for a very brief time until we were back on a sand track again on the way in to Stockyard Gully and the caves there.

We parked in the car park area and walked along the floor of the gully until we reached the entrance to the first of the three caves. At this time we discovered we had problems with a gas lamp that Paul had brought along, (the 'Other One' forgot to bring his'), however we had torches to light the way. We all set out through the cave, which is an easy walk along the sandy creek bed running through the bottom of the cave. After walking in the pitch black of the centre of the cave, we came out at the other end where we enjoyed the light and the view out through the opening of the cave before turning around and returning back the way we came. There are two other caves after this one, however they are deemed to be unsafe due to rock falls, so we did not venture any further along the gully.

Back to the vehicles it was and we then set off along another two wheel sandy 4WD track to the north for a number of kilometres until we reached the Eneaba - road where we turned East and made our way to Lake Indoon. Unfortunately, Lake Indoon is not a lake at this time as there was no water in it at all, but we stayed there long enough to enjoy some lunch before making our way back to Leeman and then Greenhead and the end of our days 4WD 'adventure'.

The boys tried their luck out with the fishing rods again, we hear with some success we are told... Yeah!!! This catch and release is great for the fish, but sure blows a hole in the fish stories....

Another Dinner supplied by Daughter Kym of a delicious chicken curry and rice was devoured by 'One of Us', however the 'Other One' and others did manage to get a mouthful or two before it was all gone.

Another great day was over and our beds beckoned us by about 10:pm in preparation for another day out and about tomorrow.

Lee drinking from  Little Three Springs
Son-in-Law Lee drinking from the spring

Stockyard Gully cave entry
Into the cave- "You first".. "No you"... No.....

Inside Stockyard Gully Cave
To be swallowed into the depths of the earth...

Sunday 2nd March 2008

It is a long weekend and there is no need to get a really early start, so it was around 10:am before we started our activities for the day. Kym, Lee, Kelly, Paul and Heather came to the caravan park all fired up with their 4Wd's and we managed to depart on our days 'adventure' by about 10:30pm.

We headed South of Greenhead on Indian Ocean Drive for a few kilometres until we pulled into 'Grigsons Lookout' which is a hill with a lookout on top that provides views over the surrounding plains and out over the ocean. This was a brief stop for a few photographs and a short history of the area before heading off again a little further to the south.

Our next stop was at some very white and pristine sand hills near the side of the road where the customary climb to the top was made by most of the party and then there was the varying styles of descent attempted by some. The one voted most spectacular would have to have been that of Paul who took a running dive off the top and tried a slide all the way down. Maybe a bit of cardboard would have helped as the descent was not too fast and it is anybody's guess as to where all the sand ended up.

From the sand hills we made our way a short distance back up the highway to a turn off to the West that lead us to a camping area called Sandy Point. This is an area without power and only basic facilities, but on our arrival its popularity was evident, there was not enough room to park our three vehicles in the camping area and there were people everywhere.... in every sort of portable accommodation imaginable. We managed to find a spot to stop at where we could view the beach and many activities in the area before turning and making our way back out along the main entry road into the area.

Before we made it back to the highway, we took a detour along another sandy track that lead us to a cliff face looking over a bay and out to where we could see Jurien Bay in the distance. Much to the delight of the girls, there were a couple of sea lions having a play around (or fishing for lunch) a short distance from us in between some breaking waves. Having enjoyed their activities it was time to get back on the track again and we made our way into Jurien Bay where the boys fueled their vehicles and we all enjoyed a meal of Fish and Chips, or similar, while sitting in a grassed park at the ocean front.

Our return journey was via Jurien Road and then onto Cockleshell Gully Road, from which we turned off into Leseur National Park driveway which took us through the park and among some rather picturesque flat top hills. This area is well worth the time and effort to visit during the wildflower season, but even without the wildflowers, it is a good drive on the sealed roadway through the park.

After leaving the park, we continued North on Cockleshell Gully Road until we came to a property on the West side of the road that was taken up and cleared by Russell Bentley, an uncle of the 'Other One'. At this point we turned back toward the coast and made it back to Indian Ocean Drive close to Greenhead. At this stage it was a vote to continue our drive and head up along the bays so we turned North and then found our way in onto the beach at North Bay, near Little Anchorage.

In convoy the three 4WD's clambered over the seaweed and sand around the bay until we came to a cliff and a track up into the hills beside these cliffs. These tracks had deep cut aways and turns that tried the vehicles out before we stopped at a place we call Shell Bay. After foraging in the seaweed, sand and rocked for a few shells, we were back in the vehicle and on our way up past a 'Free' beach, not that it meant they could claim the beach as ours free of charge, it was a 'nudist beach', having said that, in all the years we have known it, we have never seen anyone swimming there, let alone without clothes.

From here the tracks became a little narrower and the bushes a bit larger, but we persisted and continued along them, with the 'Other One' checking out a new track.... Well that is his excuse anyway!! We finally arrived at Leeman town site southern end and decided that was enough for the day, so it was an ice cream for everyone and then back onto Indian Ocean Drive and southward we went on our return to Greenhead for the rest of the day.

The evening meal was once again provided by daughter Kym, sweet and sour pork and fried rice this time and a few drinks were enjoyed on the last night we would have together for about a month, as we would be heading further North on Tuesday and the others had to return to Perth in the morning for work the next day.

Having consumed a couple of drinks with our meal, 'One of Us' and the "Other One' walked back to the caravan park at about 10:pm and settled in for a good nights sleep.


Grigsons Lookout - Greenhead
Looking out from Grigsons Lookout

Sandhills at Greenhead
The sands of time - or maybe Greenhead

Smoke Bush at Mount Lesueur
Smoke bush found at Mount Lesueur

Shell Bay - North of Greenhead
Plenty of Seaweed at Shell Bay